Businesses put animatronics on display downtown | News, Sports, Jobs


Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski /
Tyrone Area Chamber of Commerce volunteer Steve Stoner adjusts the animatronic Christmas decorations in the window of The Brew Coffee and Tap on West 10th Street on Monday morning.

Five animated Christmas scenes will greet Tyrone residents and holiday sightseers beginning Friday as they participate in various festive activities or complete last-minute gift shopping.

The elaborately decorated vignettes, sponsored by the Tyrone Chamber of Commerce, “bring the joy of this special season to life,” chamber volunteer Steve Stoner said.

“We’ve been doing the animated windows for about 20 years, and sometimes it would be a single window and then, as we were able to expand the number over the years, we’ve tried to coordinate the windows in the walking area of downtown,” Stoner said. “That’s why (the Tyrone Regional Arts Council) does it in conjunction with the chamber.”

The first animated window, “Woodland Christmas,” is at The Brew Coffee and Tap on 10th Street and shows woodland animals preparing for the holidays, Stoner said.

Co-owner and manager of The Brew, Shannon Rice, said that she is always happy to make room for the displays because her building has the perfect storefront for them.

Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski /
An animatronic Christmas decoration in the window of The Brew Coffee and Tap on West 10th Street.

“They bring smiles to the faces of passersby and only add to the overall ambiance,” Rice said.

The coffee shop often participates in these holiday traditions, with Rice saying that the business thrives on community involvement.

“This community got us through the toughest year for small businesses, and without our amazing customers, we certainly wouldn’t still be here,” Rice said. “This time of year is full of giving, and we like to give back as much as we possibly can, so we participate in anything and everything that we’re able to.”

The next animated window, “Decking the Halls,” is at the Billie J. Friday Insurance Agency, and shows a group of elves putting up a Christmas tree.

It is followed by “A Christmas Party” in the window at La Coiffure Salon on Pennsylvania Avenue. That window shows off a festive Christmas party filled with music and dancing, Stoner said.

“Herald Christmas Morning” shows “the magic of Christmas morning” as “children eagerly open packages,” Stoner said, and can be found at the Tyrone Daily Herald offices. The last display, “Commerce Winter Fun,” is at the Tyrone Chamber of Commerce on Logan Avenue and “shows the fun of winter as even the animals get to play,” Stoner said.

The animated window displays will be shown from Dec. 1 through Jan. 2, with the figures running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

“Even though the animations are (moving) until 8, the windows will still be lit so you can still see the displays,” Stoner said. “It provides a reason to walk through the downtown, whether it’s a weekend when we have an event or if it’s just for the holiday.”

Thursday will kick off the usual holiday festivities for Tyrone with a soup sampling and a Grinch Happy Hour, according to the Tyrone Chamber website. Tyrone will be holding its annual tree lighting at 6 p.m.

at the City Hotel Park on Friday, according to the Tyrone Events and Promotions Facebook page. There will also be a cookie crawl, carriage rides, music by the Tyrone Area High School jazz band, Altoona Brass Collective, entertainment by Dance Fusion and POPS Extension with WTRN’s Debbie Hoy acting as master of ceremonies.

“We appreciate the support of the businesses, that we can use their electricity and their windows,” Stoner said. “And we encourage people to come and enjoy the windows and retailers that are here.”

Mirror Staff Writer Rachel Foor is at 814-946-7458.


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